Must see Cornish coves

Porth-Joke

There are some great beaches in Cornwall, but there are also some secluded coves that make our “must-see” list, partly because they are particularly beautiful and additionally, because they are remote, less well known and hence less visited. Here are our top five Cornish coves to see when you're holidaying in Cornwall.

Porth Joke Beach by Heidi Westbrook

Porth Joke

Known locally as Polly Joke Beach, this secluded inlet is a sheltered spot between fields often filled with wildflowers. It's a bit gorgeous. The coast path crosses a little wooden bridge over the river that flows onto the beach. There are no facilities, but you're not far from Crantock or Holywell. Some surfable waves are found here, but there are no lifeguards, and strong currents can make it dangerous for swimmers.

Kynance

Kynance Cove is probably the most photogenic beach in Kernow, partly because of its sheltered, perfectly clear turquoise water and the clean white sand. The beach disappears at high tide, but the place is no less beautiful for that! There are spectacular large rocks and channels, and walk-through caves that are perfect for photographs. It's an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has a café and a car park about half a mile away.

Kynance Cove beaches by Matt Jessop

Nanjizal

Also known as Mill Bay, this cove is only accessible via the coast path from Porthgwarra or Sennen. Because of that, this place is hardly ever busy, which just adds to the appeal of its lovely clean sand and stunning rock formations.

St Loy's Cove

Perhaps our most controversial or unexpected choice, St Loy's is a very remote and rocky cove. It's found at the end of a pretty wooded valley below Boscawen Point, just off the coast path between Mousehole and Porthcurno. Its smooth, rounded boulders soak up the heat of the sun, and the vegetation has a lush, tropical feel. The area teems with wildlife both in and out of the sea. There are no facilities in the immediate area, though they can be found at the busier and less remote Lamorna Cove a few miles east. The Tater Du lighthouse is about half-way between them on this super coastal walk.

Bessy's (Prussia) Cove

This picturesque beach near Praa Sands in west Cornwall does have sand, but is divided by long spits of rock. It's excellent for snorkelling or rock-pooling, with clear green water to rival even Kynance and lots to look at in the sea. There's a car park a few minute’s walk from the beach but no other facilities. Despite the lack of lifeguard cover, this sheltered cove is usually safe for swimming and paddling.

If you’d like to visit our beautiful coves, we have many cottages available to rent throughout the year.